September 9, 1874.
The Indians, both Cree, Saulteaux and their Chiefs having arrived, His Honor Lieut.-Governor Morris said: “I am glad to see so many of the Queen’s red children here this morning. I told those I saw yesterday that I was one of the Queen’s councilors, and had another councilor with me from Ottawa and that the Queen had sent Mr. Christie who used to live amongst you to help us. Yesterday the Cree nation with their Chief were here, the Saulteaux did not come to meet the Queen’s servants, their Chief was not here. I thought that the Saulteaux could not have understood that the Queen had sent her servants to see them, or they would have come to meet them. If Loud Voice or any other Chief came down to Fort Garry to see me, and I sent one of my servants to meet them instead of shaking hands with them, would they be pleased? I wanted you to meet me here to-day because I wanted to speak to you before the Great Spirit and before the world. I want both Cree and Saulteaux to know what I say. I told those who were here yesterday that we had a message from the Queen to them. Last year I made a treaty with the Indians, 4,000 in number, at the Lake of the Woods. To-day the Queen sends us here. I told you yesterday that she loves her red children, and they have always respected her and obeyed her laws. I asked you yesterday, and ask you now, to tell me who would speak for you, and how many bands of each nation are represented here. I have heard that you are not ready to speak to me yet but do not know it, and I want you to say anything you have to say before all, and I will speak in the same way. What I have to talk about concerns you, your children and their children, who are yet unborn, and you must think well over it, as the Queen has thought well over it. What I want, is for you to take the Queen’s hand, through mine, and shake hands with her for ever, and now I want, before I say any more, to hear from the Chiefs if they are ready with their men to speak for them, and if they are not ready if they will be ready to-morrow.”
CAN-A-HAH-CHA-PEW, THE MAN OF THE BOW,–”We are not ready yet, we have not gathered together yet. That is all I have to say.”
PEI-CHE-TO’S SON–O-TA-HA-O-MAN, THE GAMBLER–”My dear friends, do you want me to speak for you to these great men?” (the Indians signified their consent). “I heard you were to come here, that was the reason that all the camps were collected together, I heard before-hand too where the camp was to be placed, but I tell you that I am not ready yet. Every day there are other Indians coming and we are not all together. Where I was told to pitch my tent that is where I expected to see the great men in the camp. That is all.”
HIS HONOR–”With regard to the camp, the Queen sent one of her chief men of our soldiers with us, and he selected the best place for the men, the place where we are now, and I think it is a good place. At first he thought to have encamped across the river, but he thought this was better ground and chose it. I think it just as well that our tents should be at a little distance from your braves and your camp. I want to say to the Indian children of the Queen that if their people are coming in, that our men have walked a long way here, and must go back again to Fort Garry, and I have other things to do. Mr. Laird has to go back again to look after other things for the Queen at Ottawa. I want to ask the Chiefs when they will be ready to meet us to-morrow.”
PEI-CHE-TO’S SON–”I have said before, we are not ready.”
HIS HONOR–”Let them send me word through their Chiefs when they are ready.”